• Susan Seligson

    Susan Seligson has written for many publications and websites, including the New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, the Boston Globe, Yankee, Outside, Redbook, the Times of London, Salon.com, Radar.com, and Nerve.com. Profile

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There are 5 comments on MED Grapples with Major Sequestration Cuts

  1. When these cuts were first implemented I posted here about the importance of diversification with respect to funding sources. Just like a well balanced investment portfolio the university business model must include sponsored research agreements from big pharma etc. not to mention NGOs such as the American Parkinson’s Disease association. But in addition to these obvious sources the idea of a successful department, program or laboratory creating its own internet presence to attract funding from donors directly to the source is a method whose time has come. When life hands you lemons you make lemonade. Who knows, perhaps by learning to live outside the NIH funding box medical research will advance more quickly as individual investor take risks on funding pet projects that an NIH study group would not deem worthy of funding.

    Let’s roll!

  2. This approach works for some fields of research, but there are levels of basic research that are not business-oriented and therefore difficult to market to pharma/charities/NGOs. The NIH has long funded some of these basic research projects and pharmaceutical companies and other scientific organizations have benefitted from their findings. This level of research is being destroyed, and is unlikely to continue to exist under any business-oriented funding models.

    1. If those who can seek alternative funding sources do so and do not apply for NIH grants then more of the money currently available can go toward basic research. The model has to change and saying it cannot is pathetic.

  3. The sequestration cuts are destroying academic positions. As the medical school does not pay salary for most faculty who conduct research, or associates or postdocs. Instead, our grant overhead funds institutional operations. In reviewing NIH grants, we see many accomplished, productive, and innovative scientists losing their livelihoods and life’s work, due to the very low proportion of grants being funded, with major cuts. Productivity is lower; than 50% of one’s time must be spent writing grant applications. No initial applications are funded; expect years of revisions to be required, best case. I cannot recommend academic research for anyone now.

  4. The medical school could cut a few administrative positions and use this money to pay the salaries of senior scientists on tenure then only the junior scientist would need to compete for NIH funding. The med school used to have tenure years ago. Again the model has to change. It is sink or swim time kiddies.

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